Brewton receives $4 million grant for sewer work
Published 1:10 pm Tuesday, November 29, 2022
Brewton’s sewer systems are set for big improvements thanks to a $4 million grant award made possible by the American Rescue Plan, work from city leaders and Alabama Department of Environmental Management (ADEM).
Russell Holland, an engineer and vice president of Southern Engineering Solutions, has worked closely with city leaders to help secure the grant award announced during Monday’s meeting of the Brewton City Council.
“It’s not very often I get to come with this kind of good news,” Holland told the council. “We have worked for several years with the mayor and (Ray) Madden and (Craig) Jerkins to improve the infrastructure of the city. It was determined the greatest deficiency and need was to rehab the sewer and water in the downtown area. This will be a large and expensive repair.”
Holland said the $4 million grant was a “fully” funded grant without need for the city to have a match for the funding.
“We were granted in full the sewer grant we applied for,” Holland said. “It is fully funded. Usually this king of grant is part loan, part grant, but this is a 100 percent grant for the sewer work.”
Holland said the funding is already in place, but the money may take some time to reach the city wallet.
Councilman David Jennings asked about a timeframe when work may begin on the projects funded by the grant.
“This may take longer than we’ve seen in the past,” Holland said of receiving the funds. “There is a process that we have to move forward with and that will take a few months to go through. ADEM will finalize the work and it’s just a little slower process. We are looking at possibly 10 or 12 months before work can begin. We will be doing the work in phases to keep disruption to the public at a minimum.”
Brewton Mayor Yank Lovelace offered thanks to Holland for his work in securing the grant.
“Thank you for your work on this grant,” Lovelace said. “This is good news for our city.”
Holland said the grant is one of the best grants he has seen awarded in many years.
“I’m very proud of the city of Brewton,” Holland said. “This is one of the greatest grants I’ve seen in my career with 23 years of engineering. Without the help of Mr. Madden, Mr. Jerkins, the mayor and Brooke (Hardin), this wouldn’t have been possible. This is a fantastic thing for the city of Brewton and it wouldn’t have happened without those people.”
Holland said a water grant application is still in the process of being considered and expects to hear results in the near future.
The grant to the local system is part of a $343 million dollar program to repair and upgrade crumbling, malfunctioning and overwhelmed water and sewer systems in Alabama. The initial announcements were made in September with a final word on grant funding made known this week.
“Thanks to Governor Kay Ivey and the Alabama Legislature, we are making an unprecedented investment in water and sewer systems across Alabama to address long-standing and, in some cases, dire needs that go back decades,” ADEM Director Lance LeFleur said. “These funds are going to communities with the most critical needs that would not otherwise be able to afford the repairs and upgrades on their own. These projects are going to have a significant, positive effect on the lives of millions of Alabamians.”
ADEM is supplementing the $225 million with other federal and state funds. The Department expects to receive $765 million over the next five years ($137 million in 2022) from the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law passed by Congress last year, and is combining that with $111 million in grants and loans through the State Revolving Fund (SRF). All totaled, ADEM expects to commit $473 million this year to water and sewer systems.
Also during Monday’s council meeting, Lovelace presented a proclamation to Dennis Bondurant on behalf of the city recognizing November as National Home Care and Hospice Month.